Best Black-Metal Festival

Cathedral of the Black Goat

Critics' Picks

The Cathedral of the Black Goat took over Cafe Lura (3184 N. Milwaukee) one night in March with an eight-band underground extreme-metal bill featuring Black Witchery, Nyogthaeblisz, Loss, and Ritual Combat and headlined by Filipino bestial black-metal crew Deiphago in their first North American show. Organized by a fellow calling himself Myrmydon Antichristus, who plays bass for local group Black Devotion, it was definitely an event for connoisseurs—you have to be pretty into metal to know who most of these bands are, or to appreciate how rare it is for many of them to play live at all, never mind together. But there are enough such people in Chicago (or willing to travel to Chicago) to pack a modest venue like Cafe Lura. The dim light, dense crowding, and low stone archways made the club feel a little like a dungeon warren, and the festival's nine hours of furious satanic noise felt more than a little like an initiation ceremony. Antichristus likes the cafe and plans to convene the Cathedral of the Black Goat there for as long as he's able—he's booked the second installment for August 11. Highlights of the Volume 2 lineup include Detroit blackened-thrash outfit Perversion and two bands Antichristus describes as "satanic death/doom": Hellvetron from El Paso, Texas (featuring members of Nyogthaeblisz), and Void Meditation Cult from Ohio.